What is the Closing of the Bones?
Closing the Bones is a gentle and nourishing ritual, supporting and comforting women who have given birth both recently and years ago. There is no time limit as to when this ritual can take place.
In Mayan culture, it is said that during labour, the Mother’s spirit leaves her body and travels into the universe to find and collect her baby’s soul and then she returns to earth to birth together. It is said that during the bone closing ceremony, the spirit is called back to the body and the ritual encourages the mother to close her body energetically.
After birth, women often feel as though they have been ‘broken wide open’. The body, mind and spirit have to open and let go from a deep place to bring a new soul into the world, whether she has had a vaginal or caesarean birth. The body is opened to the most dramatic life experience and sometimes traumatic experience.
Closing the Bones does just that: it puts it all back together – and closes the body physically and energetically. It is one way to honour the mother, and make space for the enormous shift in not only her physical, but also her mental and emotional state. Her physical body has undergone change, through a widening of her hips and feet, displaced pelvic organs, engorged breasts – and her psyche is altered by the right of passage to conceive, carry and birth her child; She is Mother now.
The ceremony acknowledges the immense changes a woman has undergone in pregnancy and childbirth and assists in bringing her spirit back into her own body. Physically, it guides her bones back into place, helps her pelvic organs shift and her uterus to shrink back down and stimulates blood flow. Women who are honored in this way, experience a sense of calm and grounding, re-establishing a sense of self.
This ritual has its origins in South America, in Mexico and Ecuador.